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Hello Everybody! This is my first chance to write for ChessPublishing and I would just like to say a warm welcome to everybody who takes the time out to read this section!
I am probably most well known for my antics in the Classical Dutch and that is what we will be concentrating on here. The first book that I wrote, 'Play the Classical Dutch' is getting a bit ancient now as it first came out in 2003. I have tried to update this recently with a DVD, 'The Killer Dutch' that can be brought from but there is only so much that you can fit onto a DVD! For that reason I mainly concentrated on the ideas and typical plans behind the opening in the DVD. This update goes into more depth and I hope that it goes some way to answering you questions.

Download PGN of December '10 Daring Defences games

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Classical Dutch [A96]

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d6 7. Nc3:

I am planning to bring out an ebook on the opening at some point but my work load has held this up recently. Anyway I have always thought that the Classical Dutch is an interesting way of avoiding a number of the more well known openings and it has given me a number of good wins in the past. Let's just hope that it can do the same for you! I will leave you with the wise words of Avrukh who wrote a great section on the opening in his book on d4: "The Classical Dutch does not, and perhaps never will, enjoy the best reputation. Nevertheless it should under no circumstances be underestimated, as the black position contains a surprising amount of dynamic potential!"

Let's take a look at that potential...

In Game 1 I introduce 7...Ne4 and we look at the fairly critical continuation 8. Nxe4 fxe4 9. Nd2 d5 10. f3 Nc6!:

When looking for information on the ChessPublishing forum I came across Game 2. It is an encounter that is well worth investigating deeper. I must thank 'Mouseslip' Albrecht for putting the game into the public arena.

Game 3 was played by another regular guest to Chess Publishing, Simon Bibby. I can remember Simon from when I was a youngster and he was giving a number of Grandmaster's difficulties at the British Championships. In this game he plays a model ...c5 plan, which gets as much activity out of the position as possible.

In the next few games we consider 8.Qc2, White's most common reply to 7...Ne4:

I have decided to include some old games as I believe that they demonstrate some important principles that any 'Classical Dutch' player should be well versed in. I was happy after playing Game 4 as it was the first time that I had tried 10...Nc6:

which basically made this line playable again.

Game 5 was the second time that I had the chance to play Shirov, in both games I got a good position but then his class came into effect!

I thought that Game 6 was worth including as it demonstrates another way that White can handle the opening. A dangerous approach if Black is not well prepared. The ending that appears in this game is worth investigating a bit deeper as it is a typical Classical Dutch position.

In Game 7 we will look at another system that White often plays, b3 without Nc3:

I have had this in a number of games and I am still not entirely sure what the best solution is. Originally (before annotating this game!) I just assumed that Black should be ok but things are not that easy! I have mainly included this game due to some queries on the forum, and I have tried to answer as many of the questions as possible!

To sum up: Black has a number of ways to play against 7 b3. It is not clear what is the best approach yet but Black does have to be careful that he does not reach a passive position which is lacking any counterplay. A good starting place to move this variation forwards would be 8 Bb2 Bf6 9 Nbd2 Nc6 10 Ne1 Nc5!? I am awaiting your ideas and views on this on the forum!


Anyway happy hunting in the Dutch!, Simon

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